Life Itself

A Sky Cinema production that like the previous Sky Cinema Productions were being showed on Sky Cinema Channel and selected Cinemas at the same time. Life Itself feature Olivia Wilde, Oscar Isaac, Antonio Banderas and Annette Bening with a brief appearance from Samual L Jackson. The films starts off weird and tries to split the movie into Chapters like Moonlight but fails with this as it disjoints the film and 1 chapter is 30 minutes long whilst another is like 5 minutes. The Chapters do link up at the end but as you watch the film it is very confusing and has different timelines, you can suddenly be 2 years previous and then back at the current time. However once you have watched the film and pieced all the chapters together it makes a lot more sense and makes it more enjoyable so I think it is a film that improves when you watch a second or third time but not sure you would watch any more than this.

The actual idea I really liked and that the worst story narrator is Life Itself but I do think the film could’ve been better and perhaps get rid of the chapters or just have 3, 1 each about the families and then one final one at the end where the families join.

So I’m only giving this a C+ (Changing rating from out of 5 or 10 to grades like we had I school so will mark it A+ to F-).

If have Sky watch it but I don’t think worth going to the Cinema for.

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Colette

A film I saw the trailer before Christmas and thought this looks interesting so I watched and I rather liked it. Based on the true story about Parisian writer Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette who married a very successful writer who was better known by his pen name of Willy who was the author of the Claudine Novels though as the film tells they were actually written by Gabrielle. The film follows Colette before her marriage and during it until her divorce which happened after Willy sold the rights to Claudine. Kiera Knightly returns to costume drama with her role as Colette and fits the role well. I learnt a lot about Colette duding the film and made me want to find out more about her afterwards which I guess was part of the point of this film though I expect those who have read more will probably know more about her, I did find out she wrote Gigi which is a book I have heard off. I liked the film and enjoyed it though I have no doubt some people won’t like it and would find boring though there are a few sex scenes and topless scenes to keep the boys watching.

I rate this a 3/5 (I may changing my rating scheme as don’t really like marking out of 5 or 10).

Mary Poppins Returns/Bumblebee

A week later than planned Sunday saw me watch Mary Poppins Returns and Bumblebee at Cineworld.

Mary Poppins Returns

This was a film I was looking forward to seeing as well as dreading as love the original Mary Poppins. My main concern was on how Emily Blunt did as Mary and how her singing compared to Julie’s. Set after the original the Banks children (Michael and Jane) have now grown up and Michael has 3 children, whose wife had just died and is in danger of losing their house (Still 17 Cherry Tree Lane), Jane has taken after her Mother and organises rally’s. Though this is not a patch on the original nor is Emily Blunt like Julie Andrews, it is a decent film and Emily Mortimer and Lin-Manual Miranda give very good performances though Ben Whishaw goes the same way as Emily Blunt and doesn’t do the role justice. There is a lot of the same things though dated in the new film compared to the original (Admiral Boom, Ellen returns, Jumping into a Painting (or a bowl in the new one) and the film starts with a song by neither the Banks or Mary Poppins and of course the Kite is involved). I don’t believe the songs are as catchy though I do like a couple of them – Can You Imagine That (though not sure suits Emily Blunts voice) and A Cover is not a Book (that does suit her voice). You can’t help but compare this to the original but if you don’t then it is a better film, I think it would be better to wait to see on Home Media than going to see at the Cinema which is a shame. 2/5

Bumblebee

It’s been a while since I watched the Transformers but liked the trailer for this film so had to go and see, though Cineworld Whiteley seemed have the wrong format of film as the subtitles were only showing the top of the letters and the top part of the screen seemed to be missing in parts (think played IMAX format on a non IMAX screen). Set in 1987 the film shows how the Transformers arrived on Earth and how Bumblebee was involved in this after being sent down to Earth to prepare it. Bumblebee arrives on Earth and after escaping the US Army he hides as a VW Beetle until Charlie (Hailee Steinfield) finds him in a repair yard and fixes him up thinking it was a normal car but as she fixes him up Bumblebee shows himself and they start an unlikely friendship and Charlie gives him the name Bumblebee, their friendship helps Charlie deal with her life and helps develops a friendship with Memo and they overcome the Deceptions as well as the US Army when they escape Charlie tells Bumblebee they have to split or would be on the run forever and Bumblebee than transforms to a Camaro. I really enjoyed this film and though Hailee played the role well as having seen her in Pitch Perfect it was nice to see her play a different role. The only thing that was poorly done was when Charlie was fixing the Beetle she was fixing the engine in the front of the car but even I know that the Beetles’ engine is at the back of the car but this doesn’t take anything away from the film. This is worthwhile seeing at the Cinema if have time and free to do so. 3/5 rating from me.

Cineworld Unlimited Secret Screening 10

Last night saw Cineworlds tenth Secret Unlimited Screening, recently we have been treated to some very good films such as Love Simon, Incredible 2 and last Christmas saw Molly’s Game being shown, this year was a wide open as there is a lot of good films coming out but with the booking being opened for Aquaman and Mary Poppins Returns this to me ruled them out so I was then thinking it could be the films about Queens, either Mary, Queen of Scots or The Favourite but when the Certificate appeared and mentioned Green Book, I though wow I’ve not even heard of this and not even had it on my radar to watch however as the titles started and said was based on a true story I settled back to watch as films based on true stories and biographies are my favourite Genre.

Green Book is named after the Negro Motorist Green Book that was a guidebook for the African-American Travellers in the 1960’s and the film is about African-American Classical/Jazz Pianist Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) who hires Italian-American Tony Vallelonga (Viggo Mortensen) as his driver and to help him gets to his gigs on time when he tours the Deep South (which still had a lot of racial tension). 

The film takes us on the journey not only the musical tour but also the journey of friendship that started to blossom between Tony and Don and how they start to improve each other which Don trying to make Tony more intelligent and helps him write letters back to his wife whilst Tony tries to get Don to stand up for himself more.

I enjoyed this film and not knowing what to expect may have help make this better as not seeing any trailer or reading any review I couldn’t have any expectation of what to expect and maybe this is a good way forward, though with going to the cinema you are always seeing trailers so seeing films not hearing anything about is going to be rare.

Personally this is a good film to watch but I know lots of people won’t enjoy this, if you like Hidden Figures, Moonlighting I think you will enjoy this film, there is comedy parts in the film as the differences between Tony and Don show through.

Green Book gets a 4/5 from me.

Ralph Breaks the Internet

I’ve been MIA recently for my blog but will try and catch up over the next month but won’t do a blog for every film I’ve seen whilst been missing. But as this was the last movie I saw I thought I start here.

Ralph Breaks the Internet (AKA Wreck it Ralph 2) is the sequel to the 2012 Wreck it Ralph film that was a huge success, it starts 6 years after the first film where Ralph and Vanellope became best friends and whilst Ralph is happy, Vanellope dreams off more and is getting bored of her game and after Ralph tries to create a new track in Sugar Rush for Vanellope the player playing the game breaks the steering wheel when Vanellope fails to respond to the controls, this makes Vanellope and the other Suger Rush characters homeless, as Vanellope glitches more Ralph decides to try and get the replacement Steering Wheel that one of the kids at the arcade showed Mr Litwak when he said he couldn’t get a replacement. Ralph tells Vanellope and they both manage to get into the Internet via the Wi-Fi Router that Mr Litwak had recently installed and this starts their adventures in the Internet.

There is a look of familiar products and names and eBay is part of the story, there is also a lot of Disney ties in with the Disney Princesses, Stan Lee (Marvel) and Star Wars all playing a part in the story, there is also references to the Dark Net however the adventures in the Internet tend to be lame for the most part with some good parts but the film tends to drag for a while before starts picking up again (personally I didn’t see the need for the Disney section).

Ralph Breaks the Internet is not as good as the first film and I don’t think the plot is a good one, the animation is top notch and whilst the Disney part of the film was pointless I liked it had a lot of the Disney characters, kids may enjoy this more than me but I think this is too long (around 2 hours) for the main target audience.

I can only rate this 2/5 as could’ve been and perhaps should’ve been a lot better than it was. The storyline was weak and felt rushed.

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

Disney latest live action movie is one Bryony and myself have been looking forward to see we saw the trailer though neither of us knew the story though both knew was a ballet and a book but didn’t know the story itself.

I was hooked in the open scene when you fly down Westminster Bridge pass Parliament, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey to the home of Clara Stahlbaum where she was setting a Mouse Trap (think of the game) Mouse Trap for a mouse with Fritz (her younger brother). The movie is set on Christmas Eve though I think this is a film you can watch all year round and not specifically a Christmas Film  though I’m sure from next year it will be a regular Christmas film on TV. It has a star studded cast with Kiera Knightly as the Sugar Plum fairy, Morgan Freeman as Drosselmeyer and Helen Mirren as Mother Ginger to name a few but it is MacKenzie Foy as Clara that steals the show with Jayden Fowora-Knight as Phillip with the Ballet pieces done by Misty Copeland.

The film reminded me a lot of a couple of other Disney films, Alice in Wonderland and Santa Clause 3 in places with a young girl being transported to another world (or in this case Realm) and toy soldiers being brought to life as well as Naria in a way but these were all good things and helped make the movie.

I rate this and think would be in my top 10 Disney films after Beauty and the Beast and Pete’s Dragon and one I will watch again (maybe in the cinema again as might see if can see in 3D too).

This is worthy of 🎬🎬🎬🎬

The Happytime Murders

Being seeing the trailer for this for a while but never remembered the name until the posters/trailers started being played in the foyer at Whiteley’s Cineworld but one I had to see to see what it was like as grew up in the Muppets Era and have also seen the Avenue Q musical, this was billed as an Adult Muppets (like Avenue Q is) but to be honest I was disappointed with the film, yes there was some very funny parts but it lacked any real cohesion to keep the story going and the audience entertained. PI Phil Phillips is a Puppet and and ex-cop and the reason why Puppets are not allowed to be cops, Detective Edwards (Melissa McCarthy) is his ex-partner and when members of the Happytime Gang started getting killed they reunite though the FBI suspect Phillips as the killer and finally Phillips shots the killer to bury his demons and get’s his old job back as a cop.

As mentioned there is some funny scenes and stupid scenes that make you laugh (a Puppet Sex Shop where the first murder happens is an example) and you also get spoofs from other films (Basic Instinct cross leg scene) but these are too far apart and most of the film drag, it only really started to flow towards the end when Phillips was avoiding the FBI and then when Edwards helps him escape to catch the real killer, in fact the credit scenes where you see behind the scenes and how the puppets where moved was probably just as good as the majority of the film.

I don’t know whether I got my hopes up for the film as I hoped it would be a film equivalent to Avenue Q but this was nowhere near this but personally I would wait for this to come to Home Media to watch then recommend to see in the cinema.

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King of Thieves

Tuesday’s Cineworld Unlimited screen was King of Thieves a film based on the Hatton Garden’s safe deposit burglary that was done in 2015, as based on a true story this was a film I was glad to see was going to be an Unlimited screening as a film I was going to see.

Starring Michael Caine, Jim Broadbent, Ray Winstone, Tom Courtenay, Charlie Cox, Paul Whitehouse and Michael Gambon as the thieves it as much comedy as a crime drama. It is certainly a worth while viewing as it gives a good insight of the burglary and presumably the distrust the heist caused during and after it, the old gents haven’t lost the ability to act though you can start to see their ages during the film but not knowing/remembering what the real life gang looked liked we can’t really compare, normally these type of real life movies they try to make the people look like the real life people but they’ve not done so in this film.

I would definitely recommend this film but don’t expect any action as you have to remember these are 60-70 year old blokes that did the robbery (and 1 younger bloke – possibly yet to be caught) and there is no cop chases and I believe the only real film licence (to make things up/exaggerate them to make the film better) was the crooks being arrested all at the same time.

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Mamma Mia – Here We Go Again

I considered skipping blogs about the Movies I missed but decided to write about Mamma Mia – Here We Go Again, the sequel to the 2008 film Mamma Mia based on the Stage Musical with Amanda Seyfried, Dominic Cooper, Colin Firth, Julie Walters, Christina Baranski, Pierce Bronson, Stellan Skarsgard and Meryl Streep all reprising their roles from the first film but with Lily James playing a Young Donna, Jessica Keenan Wynn as Young Tanya, Alexa Davies (Rosie), Jeremy Irvine (Sam), Hugh Skinner (Harry), Josh Dylan (Bill) and a guest appearance of Cher as Donna’s mother and Sophie’s grandmother.

This film is 2 stories as it continues from the original film as Sophie has now done up the old farm house and wants to open it as a hotel and is trying to sort out a launch party for this as well as dealing with a personal problem with her boyfriend, plus also it flashes back to when Donna first left university and arrived on the island and how she met the 3 men that could be Donna’s father. I really liked the way this was done as it really worked and I was surprised at how good Lily James singing was, she has in my opinion really shone this last year in the films she has done, the music as always with ABBA songs is top quality and most of the singing was also very good and it peaked at towards the end with Dancing Queen and then at the end with Supertrooper when the whole cast including both young and old versions of Donna, her friends and the 3 males, came together to perform. If you loved the first film then you will love this one, I think this is better than the first one and I love the soundtrack and as mentioned was a fan of Lily’s singing and performance you also can’t fault Amanda’s singing or acting too.

If you have a free afternoon or is raining then watch this, you will get your feet tapping and the time will fly by.

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